I am a night owl, as much as I try to be a morning person it never works out. Ever. I’ll reset my sleep pattern and will be productive, seizing the day and running errands for about two or three weeks before someone invites me out and I stay up late throwing my whole system into chaos and losing any sense of day or night. Soon after that one night out, I’ll be sleeping in and staying up until two, three, four am. Sometimes taking it even further being able to watch the Today show about a day I will not even be awake to experience. However, yesterday I reset my sleep pattern, going to bed the night before at 10:30 pm and waking up with the dawning of the sun at around 6 am. This worked out perfectly as the new Britney Spears single debuted at 7:10 on Z100. Now, I would not have been up otherwise, but that’s because I’ve been spoiled with the internet and TIVO and no longer needing to experience things live without having to worry about missing them entirely. But, luckily I was awake to hear the new single 3 during it’s world premiere. As far as Britney singles go it’s a job well done. The song is poppy, upbeat (radio listeners rarely love when Brit does a beautiful balled, Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know anyone?) and a total club banger. It’s also completely scandalous, I mean at this point I’ve seen Britney through it all so it’s not shocking to me. But, I’m sure parents group and conservatives are going to protest the song’s message about the joys of the threesome just as they did with her Circus single If U Seek Amy which we all recall alludes to a four letter word this blogger is very fond of. But, this morning was not the first time I’ve listened to Britney premiere new work. I remember watching the Football Kickoff game in the September of 2003 to see Britney clad in a referee outfit do a medley of past hits and then introduce her new single Me Against the Music. I became obsessed with a rip of the performance I had on my iPod and was heartbroken when I had to relearn the song after Madonna made edits when she came aboard. More recently, I was under the big top in December of 2008 when she first performed Circus and it made it’s official debut as her second single, and you know I was parked in front of the television when Britney performed I’m a Slave 4U at the VMAs in 2001. What can I say? I really, really love her.
The Day We Met...
I remember when I was in the 6th Grade my friends were buzzing about a song called Baby One More Time. I had heard the song on the radio and liked it, but apparently the video was something else and I had missed its big TRL debut so when I did catch it sitting pretty at number 4 the following day I was hooked. I remember watching the scantily clad Britney shake and shimmy down the halls of Rydell High in ways Sandy D never could and knowing she was going somewhere. I followed Britney as she carved a pattern of a sexy video and then a virginal video. I mean look at the video for Oops… I Did It Again and compared it to Lucky. But, then on her third single Stronger I remember vividly watching as Britney abandoed her car, and crossed the bridge on foot in the rain. It was so symbolic, Britney was abandoning the vehicle that had brought her so much success, weathering the storm and crossing the bridge into adult content. The music and their videos that followed went from sexy to scandalous and I lapped it all up. I was lucky enough to see Brit in concert when she was on the Dream Within a Dream tour and when she launched her next album I met her twice, once outside TRL and we got to speak at an album launch signing at Virgin in Time Square. I remember she was impressed that I wound up with three copies of In The Zone and then I told her she was my hero, we hugged and she called me adorable, I just about passed out. My sister literally cried in fron of her, I however managed to keep my composure. It seemed right after Britney and I met, she canceled her tour, got married to that guy, divorced that guy, endangered the life of her children, shaved her head and then lost her kids. I hope it wasn’t me that caused that to happen, luckily the evidence points to the rapid fame and pushy managers. There was a time when I couldn’t even defend her anymore, I mean I stood by her and hoped for the best, but when people discussed her I couldn’t even speak up. It was pointless. But, then like Jesus himself, Britney came back to life. She released a smash single Womanizer and a well received album that sparked a successful tour. It’s great to have her back, and I’m glad she is doing a proper Greatest Hits album to mark her 10th anniversary of debuting on the scene.
Before I Entered The Zone...
When I look back at the last ten years, I feel like Britney was such a big part of it. And, not just because her commercial deals dictated which soft drink, shampoo and sneakers I bought. But, because with her fun, lively music she helped me break out. I remember doing the little dance from Oops! I Did It Again’s video at my 8th Grade prom. Somewhere out there is a video of me doing it, luckily the man passed away before my copy arrived. Because, I know my family would trot that out, and it would be ALL over Youtube. I don’t know what it was, but something about Britney made me comfortable enough to get up in front of my entire graduating class, teachers and selected parish officials and do a choreographed dance number complete with the part from the VMAs where she dropped to her knees. Plus the music’s fun and at times meaningless subject matter provided a wonderful distraction during my parent’s divorce, the sucky times in high school and even when my mother died. My friend Dana often tells people when recanting the story of the week my mother died that walking into my house she was fearful due to the fact that Blackout was blasting through the house. She thought the noise was to mask the sounds of my suicide attempts. It sounds weird but songs like Heaven on Earth and Radar were the perfect antidote to dealing with death on Christmas morning. Its strange to me that out of all of the artists out there, even serious business artists who write and perform all their own music, songs that are about something, and tell stories from their lives. The artist whose music I feel changed my life most was Britney Spears. I mean she gave me some confidence to break out of my shell or what shell there was, made me happy and distracted me when things were tough and she is also responsible for my propensity to arm dance. Watching her videos countless times, allowed me to master the moves to a few of her songs, and as anyone who has seen her video Brit-Brit is a big fan of strutting and arm movements. But, mainly what Britney Spears has given me countless good times, whenever I put on any one of her amazing classic songs it puts me in a much better mood. When naysayers complained that Britney didn’t sing live on her Circus tour, I did not bat an eyelash. I felt that if she was up there singing, it would be lost on me I couldn’t hear a word she was saying anyway everyone was singing along. And, while I’ve had some friends in the past, the ones who were toxic (like the song!), that did not enjoy Britney and wrote her off as less than worthy of attention I’ve been out in clubs, bars and events even her concerts and seen the effect her music has on people. It makes people happy, feel light and everyone dances. I mean if you’re feeling sad, angry or unhappy, stressed or nervous do what Miley did, have the DJ dial your favorite jam and throw a Britney song on, it always works for me.
Now, Britney’s Singles Collection will be in stores in November… We all know those classics, but here are my picks for the best of the rest from each of Britney’s albums.
E-Mail my Heart from …Baby One More Time. A cheesy ballad that I still love to this day that fit into her debut album perfectly.
What You See Is What You Get from Oops! I Did It Again… An attitude infused dance song about taking Britney as she is. Precursor to Piece of Me.
What It’s Like To Me feat. Justin Timberlake from Britney. Another attitude filled dance number about walking a mile in the shoes of Brit.
Showdown from In The Zone. A song about make up sex, Britney telling stories about starting fights only to make up again… and again.
Ooh Ooh Baby from Blackout. My FAVORITE non-single ever. I freaked out when she did it on The Circus Tour.
Unusual You from Circus. A love song by Britney about somebody so perfect, so amazing they must be heaven sent. Again, Britney’s ballads aren’t the best received but this one would have been a smash I think.
3 From The Singles Collection. For those of you who haven’t heard Britney’s new ode to the manage a trois. Living in Sin is the new thing, even for Peter, Paul and Mary. Now the question is the band or the saints?